Brey- Part 2

Fiction By Anna // 7/7/2008

Part Two: O’brey

Brey leapt up the tree trunk with the agility of a squirrel, scrambling higher. Finally she sighted the branch she was looking for. It was just beyond her reach. She stretched forward, but still came up short by about the thickness of a butterfly’s wing. In a final desperate attack, she lunged forward. She hit the branch, just as she had intended. But before she could declare her success, she lost her balance and plummeted downward, the blossom-laden tree boughs, almost dizzyingly sweet to smell but carrying quite a sting, whipping her body. With a mighty thump! she hit the ground, on her back with her feet in the air. With hardly a groan she shot into a sitting position, her arm held high above her head, as though holding forward a trophy. "Victory!" she shouted triumphantly.
"Orphan girl climbed up a tree
Thought she was a bird
Fell and crashed quite merrily
And hit her bottom hard," chanted a boy’s voice nastily. "You’re such a blockhead, O’brey," he sneered. (O’brey is pronounced "OH’ bree". Brey pronounced "bree" as well, like in "Aubrey".)
Brey, apparently unscathed by fall or insult, replied in a preoccupied way, "And you’re a rotten poet, Cristoff." She brought her hand lower to examine her prize. "I got my ball back, anyway." She tossed her dusky hair proudly, hazel eyes flashing. "And it never would have been in the tree in the first place if you hadn’t thrown it so hard."
Cristoff flexed his arm. "The strength of a blacksmith’s son, O’brey," he said with pride. "It’s all in the muscle."
Brey rolled her eyes. "My name is Brey," she muttered. "Only you ever call me by my full name."
"Who cares?"
Brey threw the ball at Cristoff. It bounced harmlessly off his heavy leather work apron, but she had hit his chest with a keen accuracy that certainly would have credited any marksman. "I do!"
A burly man with thick, bushy black eyebrows and a wild black beard stepped out of the smithy’s, wiping his hands on an apron similar to Cristoff’s. It was Bertolf, the blacksmith, and also Cristoff’s father. "Cristoff, inside," he thundered to his son.
Brey shrank back almost involuntarily as Cristoff brushed past her. He bowed his tow-colored head in a subdued manner. He knew better than to argue with his father.
"Yes, Papa," he said, slipping into the smithy.
Bertolf’s black eyes followed his son back into the house. Then he looked down at Brey. He was a giant at full height, but he seemed even taller when looking at her.
"Well, wee one," he said, his tone dangerously calm, "what happened here?"
At thirteen- and tall for her age- Brey didn’t usually take well to being called "wee one", but Bertolf was a different tale entirely. A tale that towered at what seemed at least two feet over her head.
"Nothing, sir," she stammered. "Just getting my ball back."
Bertolf reached down into the grass and held up Brey’s ball. "Is this it?"
"Yes," said Brey in a tinier voice than usual.
Bertolf took her hands in his huge, rough one, and tucked the ball into them. His hands were as hot and black-stained as the forge they had recently come from. "Then your business is done," he said with a growl in his voice. "Go on!"
Brey didn’t tarry long.
She hurried back to where two of her friends were playing. She shuddered as she took one more glance over her shoulder.
"You shouldn’t have done that, Brey," said one fair-haired boy named Nobin, shaking his head.
Brey shrugged. "Well, I got my ball back, didn’t I? Bertolf isn’t really scary," she added to herself, as an afterthought. "Just tall."
"I was talking about Cristoff," said Nobin. "He’s not an idiot, Brey, and he’ll get revenge if he feels he’s been insulted."
"You worry too much, Nob. What could Cristoff possibly do to me?" asked Brey lightly. "Are we still playing grobble, or not?" (Grobble is a traditional ball game similar to four square.)
"Not with that ball," said a girl named Frika.
"What’s wrong with my ball?" said Brey defensively.
"She’s right," Nobin said. "That ball is too small for grobble."
"Not only that," said Frika. "It flies too far when we throw it."
Brey looked down at her ball again. Fitting perfectly in the palm of her hand, it was roughly the size of a large apple, and was a maroonish color with gold stars sprinkled over it. "Well, fine," she said with a frown. "If anyone else has a ball, let’s play."
Nobin began playing with his coat sleeve, the bright blue color of the sky. "It’s not that easy," he mumbled.
"What aren’t you telling me?" demanded Brey with a frown. She tossed the ball to him- or rather at him.
Nobin ducked, causing the ball to fly past him, hit a tree, and bounce a few times. It landed conveniently near Brey’s feet, as though waiting for her to reach down and pick it up.
"Watch where you throw that, Brey! Good grief, it’s like a weapon!" he added to himself, eyeing the ball warily.
"Well?" asked Brey. She sighed. "It’s not about the ball, is it?"
"Not exactly," said Nob.
"Your guardian…" muttered Frika darkly.
"You’re not worried about her, are you?" asked Brey with a laugh. "She’s just a scary-looking old woman with a voice like a crow. But she’s nice once you get past all that. You know she used to be the village healer? She’s nothing to be worried about- unless you trample her gardens. Then she’s terrifying."
Frika shifted her weight from one leg to the other, looking uncomfortable.
"What does Yllna have to do with playing grobble, anyway?" asked Brey, trying to edge the others to the point. (Yllna pronounced "hyaLINuh".)
"Nothing, really," said Nobin reluctantly.
"Then what? Dragon singe your tongues?" she asked playfully.
Frika bit her lip. "Mistress Yllna frightens me," she admitted. "But you already knew that."
Brey nodded. "Is that why you’re both upset? Yllna said something to you?"
"Well," cut in Nobin uncomfortably, "Yllna did come out. She startled us."
"Did she say anything?"
"She wants you."
That’s all? thought Brey, her eyebrows quirking in confusion. "Well, then I’d better go," she said softly, bending down to pick up her ball.
"That’s not all," said Frika unexpectedly. "She had something for you."
Brey straightened. "Where is it?"
"Over there," said Frika, pointing to a spreading oak tree.
Something in Frika’s tone was unsettling, but Brey wasn’t the kind to dwell on that. As soon as she rounded the tree, however, she saw why.
Leaning against the tree was a staff. But not an ordinary staff, oh no. It was fashioned from darkwood, polished to a dull shine, and at the top end, it was twisted like the branches of a mountain tree into a cup-shape, as though surrounding an invisible bubble.
Even the usually impulsive, unwary Brey felt a little apprehensive about this staff. For one, darkwood was extremely rare, growing only on the windiest mountains, where it became tough, twisted, and hardened; it was also said to be magical, and magic had been outlawed by the ruler of Brey’s country. Two, how would Yllna get such a staff, and why had she given it to Brey?
She hesitated to touch it. She slowly extended her arm, reaching out. With the tips of her fingers she stroked it. It was smooth and cool to her fingers, but she felt a sort of tingling in her hand, and something beating rhythmically in the wood, almost like a pulse.
"What do you think it is?"
"Ah!" Brey whirled around. Nobin was standing there with his head cocked to one side. "I nearly jumped out of my wits! Learn to walk louder, will you?" Momentarily she calmed down. "Sorry. Where’s Frika?"
"Went home." Nob looked back at the staff. "So what is it?"
"A staff. Not really all that creepy."
"But it’s made of darkwood, you know," said Nob nervously.
"I don’t think that’s so bad."
"But it’s-" his voice dropped to a whisper- "magical."
But Brey knew this darkwood staff wasn’t the first "magical" thing Yllna had introduced her to. "Can you keep a secret?"
Nob jumped back. "Don’t say anything that’ll get us in trouble again, please!"
"Sometimes Yllna reads me fairytales," said Brey in a hushed whisper, knowing Nob could be trusted.
Nob’s eyes got as wide as dinner plates. "Fairytales?! Brey, that’s- that’s-"
"Illegal, I know," said Brey. "But they’re marvelous! All about Magicians and Dragons and all sorts of magical things that you can’t find now!" Something in her voice suggested longing.
Nob’s eyes were still huge, like an owl’s. "So… this doesn’t surprise you?"
Brey’s eyes got big, too, and there was pleading in them. "Please understand," she said. "They’re not anything like what you think. They’re- they’re wonderful. They’re beautiful, not dangerous."
"Things can be dangerous and beautiful at the same time," said Nobin softly. "Take swords. For all the jeweled pommel and silvery sheen, a sword can still kill you."
Brey’s shoulders slumped. "I didn’t think you’d understand." She let out a deep breath. "I’m sorry I told you. It’s just- you mentioned magic, and it all spilled out. Even after you asked me to stop, I didn’t…"
"Can we pretend this never happened?" asked Nobin hopefully.
"I don’t think so," was Brey’s doubtful answer. "Now that we’ve started, I have a feeling we must let it run its course- which isn’t to say you should tell anyone," she added hastily.
"I should hope not!" said Nobin. "I mean- I would never tell on you, Brey. You’re my best friend."
Brey smiled sadly. "Thank you so much, Nob... I wish I could learn to hold my tongue."
Nob sighed heavily. "So do I."
Brey looked back at the staff. "What should I do with it?"
Nob shrugged. "It’s yours. I want nothing more to do with it, if I can help it. I would destroy it."
Brey shook her head violently. "No. Even if it weren’t a gift from Yllna, and even if I did want to, I don’t think anyone can destroy it. Or at least, I don’t think I can. I don’t think I have the power to. And I’ll say it again, this is my staff now, and now that it’s started being mine, I have a feeling I’ve started something irrevocable."
"You talk like it’s alive," said Nobin with a shudder.
"It may not be, but I’m sure the fairytales are," she said. "And I think I want them to be."

Comments

I like it!!! It seemed to me

I like it!!! It seemed to me like it wasn't as light and fun as the first chapter, more deep and serious. Which if that's the direction you like the story to be going, I think it sounds fine! Can't wait for the next installment!

Heather | Mon, 07/07/2008

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"

I sort of want it a little

I sort of want it a little more serious, but not so much that it seems dark. Please tell me if it ever seems to get dark or overly serious.

Thanks!

Anna | Tue, 07/08/2008

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

I like this new chapter. It

I like this new chapter. It certainly doesn't seem too dark to me, but it is darker than the previous chapter. though in a good way. POST MORE SOON!!!!!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The quality of mercy is not strain'd;
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blessed;
It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes

Sarah | Tue, 07/08/2008

"Sometimes even to live is courage."
-Seneca

Blogging away!
busyscribbler.wordpress.com

thanks

Last time I set a date for posting Brey, I was so off it was not even funny, so I dare not try this time.

Anna | Tue, 07/08/2008

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

:0)

Procrastination? :0) lol if it is then you've got the exact same problem as many an author, I'm sure! But I do know how you feel...

Heather | Tue, 07/08/2008

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"

Pretty much yeah... also I

Pretty much yeah... also I didn't have much of a chapter. :)

Procrastinators unite! ...tomorrow.

Anna | Wed, 07/09/2008

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

Big Grin!!!

I <3 that saying! One of my friends has a t-shirt that says that, and I think it's one of the coolest shirts ever!

Heather | Wed, 07/09/2008

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"

:) Yah I love it to! I have

:) Yah I love it to! I have many favorite sayings. Two are:
"I don't suffer from insanity. I enjoy every minute of it."
"Haikus are easy
But sometimes they don't make sense
Refridgerator"

Anna | Thu, 07/10/2008

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

I HEART IT!!!!! =D

I love this!!!! I'm also a procrastinator, so I feel you there =D
I like how it got even more serious-but not dark. I really love it!!!!

Falling Leaves-unschooler, horse lover, and obsesser over writing, reading and proper grammar.

Erin | Fri, 09/19/2008

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

I love it, and it didn't

I love it, and it didn't seem dark at all. Off to read the next part!

"California", he said, "is a beautiful wild kid on heroin, high as a kite and thinking she's on top of the world, not knowing that she's dying, not believing it even when you show her the marks." - Motorcycle Boy, from S.E. Hinton's 'Rumble Fish"

Bridget | Sun, 05/31/2009

"I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question." - Harun Yahya